Talk:Geyi

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Deletions[edit]

Over the last month, quite a lot of material from this article was deleted without rationale (User:122.211.145.154). Deleting material like this should not happen without a clear rationale and explanation. Tengu800 08:37, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Having spent many years researching the topic of geyi Buddhism and even writing a thesis on it, I think that I am qualified to comment on this article. This article is currently not an encyclopedia article. It is essentially a copy of Victor Mair's article, "What is Geyi, After All?" which was reprinted in China Report. While I appreciate that Mair's article is clearly well-researched and has much useful information for this subject, his original research has become the only source of this article, seeing that Mair's name appears in this article almost as many times as the word "geyi" itself. Furthermore, this Wikipedia article is not at all neutral, mostly consisting of many random examples of what Mair calls "pseudo-geyi," which are actually just thinly veiled attacks against the so-called "geyi enthusiasts," while repeating that "geyi does not mean matching concepts and is nothing more than a modern misinterpretation." The article is overly long, containing details about random subjects such as Nestorian Christianity, and also lacks clear organization and focus, making it generally difficult to follow, especially for non-specialists. While I would like to keep as much relevant information as necessary for understanding geyi and its interpretations (both modern and classical), this article is in serious need of editing for neutrality, length, and clarity. It would be better to link to Mair's article instead of rehashing all of the contents in this Wikipedia article.112.71.178.143 (talk) 16:03, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Hello anonymous IP editor in Tokyo, and thank you for contributing to Wikipedia. As a new editor, you may not be familiar with some of the conventions and procedures under which Wikipedia operates, and might want to consider registering. For instance, see WP:OR for why Mair's published article is not "original research" in Wikipedia terms, and MOS:QUOTE for limitations on altering quotes, such as changing Hurvitz's "I-Lao-Chuang circuit" to "The Book of Changes and Lao-Zhuang thought" without any indication. I apologize if you took offense at my edit summary. I meant "counterproductive" in the sense of removing 5 kB of relevant information while adding only minor improvements (Thanks for correcting the simplified character to 义), and suggested "vandalism" because of repeated deletions without explaining any rationale, as noted above by Tengu800. Wikipedia articles can and should always be improved. For instance, if you think the present version violates WP:NPOV then the best approach would be to find and add references countervailing Mair's position, rather than simply erasing paragraphs. I'm curious about your rationale for changing "empirically false examples" to "questionable examples". Can we agree that ge never meant "match; matching"? I hope we can cooperate on improving this geyi article, especially since you have expertise in this arcane subject. Keahapana (talk) 22:22, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Please not continue deleting material in this manner without a clear rationale for each measure taken. If you continue to do so, I will regard this as vandalism. Tengu800 01:39, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your constructive comments. It is quite clear that you have spent much time and effort to edit Mair's article to become a Wikipedia article and thus may have a vested interest to protect it from any "geyi enthusiasts" who might try to promote the "matching concepts" thesis. For my part, there are many points that I agree on with Mair, and I am certainly not one of the advocators of the so-called "pseudo-geyi-ism" that he so harshly condemns. In any case, what I believe or do not believe is irrelevant, as is it not my purpose to add any original research, delete necessary information, or promote any one point of view. It is also not not my point, in this talk page or in the main article, to discuss the strengths or flaws of Mair's article, but rather to analyze the quality of this Wikipedia article as it stands now. As stated before, this Wikipedia article is mostly based on once source, uses an inappropriate tone, is overly long, repetitive, and confusing. It also contains irrelevant details about subjects such as Nestorian Christianity and has mistaken information (such as speaking of Sanskrit-Chinese translations when it has been proven that many if not most of the early Chinese Buddhist translations were made from Prakrit languages, and also confusing the economist Ito Takatoshi/伊藤 隆敏 with the Buddhist scholar 伊藤 隆寿). It also lacks clear organization and focus (for example, for some reason the Translations section is placed at the end as an independent section when it could be better incorporated into the main text). As it stands now, the article is essentially one long quote from Mair (as his name appears in almost every paragraph), when much of the information is common knowledge or unnecessary for an encyclopedia article. Furthermore, I have thoroughly read Mair's article and found it to be quite detailed and also written in a very entertaining style. Nevertheless, his writing style is not at all encyclopedic. It is certainly not appropriate for any encyclopedia article to repeat the mantra that "geyi does not mean matching" or to be full of expressions such as "bizarre," "run amok," "imaginative," "delusional," "shadowy," or to use made-up words like "pseudo-geyi". The current text should be condensed and edited to be written in a much more encyclopedic style. To answer your questions, first it is unnecessary for me to add references countervailing Mair's position, as that is not my purpose. As can be seen from the many quotes of modern scholars on this page, while clearly being a misnomer, the term "geyi" has become has become an internationally recognized de facto academic term to mean in some cases anything related to the period of early Chinese Buddhism (even dating back to the Late Han period) and in some cases any form of dynamic equivalence in translation theory, depending on point of view the researcher. To fail to clearly explain the differences among researchers' uses, simply confuses the reader, as almost all researchers of Chinese Buddhism are made out to be "misleading countless students through erroneous definitions and specious accounts." Second, I do indeed find it questionable that 格 is explained as "matching," yet I know of no scholar with a solid knowledge of classical Chinese who asserts or has ever asserted that 格 literally means "matching." However, it can be seen that the phrase 格義 as a concept has been repeatedly explained as "matching concepts" out of convenience, which is not so surprising given the difficulties of translating classical Chinese. On the other hand, I also find it questionable that the readers of this article are presented with a false dichotomy that since 格 does not mean "matching," it must have originally meant "lattice; pattern" and the meaning in the phrase 格義 must therefore mean "compartmentalized meanings." While I understand that most researchers of religious studies are not (formally) trained in philology, I find it most perplexing that despite the authoritative and dogmatic tone of this article, modern meanings and modern Mandarin pronunciations are discussed in the Word semantics section, yet no classical dictionaries (especially 康熙字典 or at least modern works such as 古汉语大词典 or Japanese sources such as 字通 or 大漢和辞典) have been quoted in researching the etymology/character analysis of 格 (which would have clearly shown that the original meaning is not "lattice," which in modern Chinese and Japanese is written as 格子), nor have any classical texts been analyzed to show the common uses of 格 in any period of Chinese history. Finally, I am afraid that I am quite busy and barely have time to add edits in my free time. I do not have the time to fight over every change, nor do I care who edits this article as long as the article is improved. 112.71.199.12 (talk) 16:55, 3 December 2013 (UTC)